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Competition Tuesday Starts Looking Ahead to LSU’s 2018 Roster

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Orgeron has a strong core.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

There are, of course, three games remaining on the schedule and we will dedicate plenty of digital ink to those games in the coming days and weeks. But as we near the end of the season, it’s only natural to begin looking ahead. Over the weekend, Himicane asked me, “Who do you think will leave early?” which got my gears turning about the roster and some potential sore spots. So let’s go position by position.

Note: All players will be referred to by their eligibility in Fall 2018.

QB

QB Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Myles Brennan Sophomore
Lowell Narcisse RS Freshman
Justin McMillan RS Junior
Caleb Lewis Junior
TBD Freshman

Etling graduates, which leaves LSU with Myles Brennan, Lowell Narcisse, Justin McMillan and Caleb Lewis as the scholarship QBs. It’s likely the staff adds an incoming Freshman QB to this mix as well. A solid unit, but the primary competition should be between Brennan and Narcisse.

RB

RB Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Nick Brossette Senior
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Sophomore
Lanard Fournette RS Junior
Chris Curry Freshman
Tae Provens Freshman
TBD Freshman

Guice should go and Williams graduates, leaving LSU, for the first time in a number of years, without any established option at tailback heading into a season. I remain high on Brossette’s ability to be a feature back, as he is a former top recruit. Big strides can happen when the staff’s focus shifts to developing a single player and working with his strengths, rather than focusing on Guice and Williams. CEH hasn’t shown much this year, but more reps and focus should help. Curry and Provens are current commits, and the staff is still pursuing a third back in this signing class, which should provide a solid pool of backs, albeit one lacking a star.

WR

WR Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Derrick Dillon RS Junior
Jonathan Giles Junior
Drake Davis Junior
Stephen Sullivan Junior
Dee Anderson Junior
JaCoby Stephens Sophomore
Justin Jefferson Sophomore
Racey McMath RS Freshman
Mannie Netherly RS Freshman
Kenan Jones Freshman
Jaray Jenkins Freshman
TBD Freshman
TBD Freshman
TBD Freshman

Chark and Gage are gone but LSU returns all of the remaining group. Unfortunately, none of these talented guys have distinguished themselves as potential No. 1 options heading into the 2018 season. Only Dillon has double-digit receptions. Giles is probably the biggest immediate impact addition and the former Texas Tech No. 1 could be LSU’s leading receiver. Stephens remains listed at receiver, so I included him here, but he could be headed back to defense. LSU is still heavily recruiting multiple wideouts, and could take up to four more depending on who wants in.

F-Back

F-Back Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Foster Moreau Senior
Jacory Washington Senior
David Ducre Senior
Bry'Keithon Mouton Senior
Caleb Roddy Junior
Thaddeus Moss Junior
Jamal Pettigrew RS Sophomore
Tory Carter Sophomore
Aaron Moffitt RS Freshman
Zach Scheffer Freshman
TBD Freshman

LSU loses J.D. Moore, who hasn’t been a significant contributor this season. Moreau is back and he’s become a dependable option, catching 15 passes. Tory Carter may be the star here, though. He’s a fierce blocker who has shown some skills in the passing game. Most of the rest have played throughout the season, though without much distinction. May add one more body here.

OT

OT Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Toby Weathersby Senior
Saahdiq Charles Sophomore
Adrian Magee RS Junior
Austin Deculus Sophomore
Jakori Savage RS Sophomore
Dare Rosenthal Freshman
Cameron Wire Freshman
TBD JUCO
TBD Freshman

Weathersby may very well decide to try his hand at the NFL considering his lengthy injury history, though it’s hard to seem him being valued as an NFL prospect right now. Charles is the left tackle of the now and the future and has the makings of a star. Savage may factor if Weathersby goes. I penciled Rosenthal on offensive tackle, because I think that’s where he winds up. You could see additional movement here for guys like Deculus and Magee.

OG

OG Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Garrett Brumfield Senior
Ed Ingram Sophomore
Donavaughn Campbell RS Junior
Chasen Hines Freshman
TBD JUCO
TBD Freshman

There’s a chance Brumfield could test NFL waters, but I think another year of tape would help him immensely. Ingram is a young stud. Campbell has yet to come into his own battling disciplinary issues. Hines wants to be recruited as defensive lineman, but I think his future is at Guard. I suspect they will add a JUCO body and maybe another freshman.

OC

OC Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Will Clapp Senior
Lloyd Cushenberry III Junior
Cole Smith Freshman

Like Brumfield, Clapp may test the waters, but I think he will return for his Senior campaign. Cushenberry is solid interior depth that can play all three interior spots. Smith is an incoming freshman with a Clapp-like frame.

DE

DE Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Breiden Fehoko Junior
Rashard Lawrence Junior
Glen Logan Sophomore
Neil Farrell Jr. Sophomore
Justin Thomas RS Freshman
Travez Moore Junior
Davin Cotton Freshman
Jaquon Griffin Freshman
Dantrieze Scott Freshman
TBD Freshman

Now that’s a depth chart. Lawrence is a star and Fehoko has all the makings of one. Logan and Farrell will be capable backups and Travez Moore is an new comer that should given quality snaps. A lot to love here.

DT

DT Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Ed Alexander Junior
Tyler Shelvin Freshman
Nelson Jenkins Freshman
TBD Freshman

Alexander is a stud in the middle, but you’d like to see more depth. Shelvin needs to get himself right for 2018. If he does, all should be okay here, considering many of the DEs can slide to the interior depending on the looks LSU wants to give. Jenkins has a nice frame at 6-3, 290, but you’d love to redshirt him and let him add additional bulk. I suspect the staff adds one more body here by signing day.

BUCK

BUCK Depth

Player Year
Player Year
K'Lavon Chaisson Sophomore
Ray Thornton RS Sophomore
Andre Anthony RS Sophomore
Sci Martin Junior
Jarell Cherry Freshman

Unless Key gets some type of awful news, he’s gone. Even if he does, he’s likely headed to the NFL. Chaisson is his heir apparent, and while he hasn’t had the breakout Freshman campaign of Key, he’s also been relegated to more spot duty. He’s shown flashes.

F-Linebacker

F-Linebacker Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Michael Divinity Junior

Divinity is Corey Thompson’s back-up and has yet to distinguish. This spot has been cycled off the field in lieu of the Nickel. I imagine many of the BUCK or Inside guys could also play here.

ILB Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Devin White Junior
Tyler Taylor Sophomore
Jacob Phillips Sophomore
Patrick Queen Sophomore
Damone Clark Freshman
Micah Baskerville Freshman

Devin White is a star and Taylor has proven more than capable. Phillips hasn’t really emerged yet, but so much talent and he’s seeing the field. Queen, Clark and Baskerville provide formidable depth to a unit that had fewer players than our kicking unit just a season ago.

CB

CB Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Greedy Williams RS Sophomore
Kristian Fulton Junior
Kary Vincent Jr. Sophomore
Jontre Kirklin Sophomore
TBD Freshman
TBD Freshman

Entirely expecting both Donte and Toliver will declare, and O seems to be as well. But there’s always a chance. Williams looks the part of LSU’s next stud corner. LSU really needs Fulton to emerge from his former five-star status. He played a minor role as a freshman and faced disciplinary issues this season. It’s possible they’ve opted to redshirt him considering he missed half the season already and already featured considerable depth. Vincent is the nickel of the future and Kirklin has seen time as a true freshman as well. There’s a pair of highly touted freshman LSU would like to nab, but I suspect they would only take the right two there.

S

S Depth

Player Year
Player Year
Grant Delpit Sophomore
John Battle Senior
Eric Monroe Junior
Cameron Lewis RS Sophomore
Todd Harris Sophomore
Ardarius Washington Freshman
TBD Freshman

Delpit is a superstar in the making. Battle is up and down, and Monroe sees a lot of time. Should be interesting to see if Paris is able to get a medical hardship waiver and an extra year of eligibility. I think the staff has a particular take in mind for that last spot and wouldn’t extend the offer to anybody.

Summary

Overall, a pretty stout looking roster. You’ve got experience littering the roster, notably on both lines. The only spots where LSU lacks proven production will be at the offensive skill spots. There’s a lot of good reason to believe there may finally be an answer at QB. WR is more questionable, but there’s a core there you feel good about. RB is a lot of bodies and could turn into a committee approach, similar to the 2011 squad.

It’s likely Guice, Key, Jackson and Toliver are gone for the NFL, but no other current player has a standout case for high selection. Of course, things can always change and some players have it in their minds things will work out no matter what and may opt to move on.

The other factor is attrition. We’ve seen our fair share of transfers, especially along the OL, in the previous few seasons. Let’s hope that trend is halted so LSU can build proper depth there.

This looks like a team that could compete for a championship in 2018.